Guarding Nests of endangered hornbills

Guardings Nests

To cope with nest poaching in endangered bird species such as Philippine hornbills, guards and community conservationists are being hired.

To cope with nest poaching in endangered bird species such as Philippine hornbills, guards and community conservationists are being hired.

Objectives:

The larger endemic bird species’ last refuges are the forest remnants of Panay. Aside from illegal logging, they are threatened by hunting for fun, for the pot as well as by nest poaching for the pet market. For example, the hornbills of Negros and Panay, i. e. the Dulungan (= Writhed-billed Hornbill, Rhabdotorrhinus waldeni) and the Visayan Tarictic (Penelopides panini), fall victim to all of these threats. Nest poaching afflicted half of all Dulungan broods a few years ago. Nest guarding was installed at both the community level (with incentives paid to the whole of the community), and the individual poacher-turned-nest guard level. Scrutinizing the markets aimed at drying out the pet trade with hornbills and other birds. 

Hornbills are important seed dispersers particularly for trees with large fruits.
Nest hole control

Our activities to achieve objectives:

It was only after PhilinCon’s implementation of a rigorous nest protection scheme that the rate of nest poaching went below 5%. An ever increasing number of active Dulungan nests was found and protected in the subsequent years. Market raids by project devotees and staff significantly, and educational campaigns significantly diminished the bird market in NW and N Panay.

Average cost per project:

To cope with nest poaching nest guards and community conservationists were hired, receiving a monthly payment of 20 US$/month and a nest incentive of 11 US$ per saved nest.

Average duration per project:

All active nest holes are being located in a pre-breeding assessment. In a post-breeding assessment the fledgling success is monitored by specialists. These people are experienced in detecting the slightest traces of poachers who climbed a nest tree and broke open the hole before fledging of the young. With a stunning high of more than 1000 Dulungan nest holes, the man power available has almost reached a ceiling unless more funds can be raised for protecting the remaining nest holes.

Aceros waldeni at nest © Tim Laman